Sunday, January 14, 2018

Eminent Domain Origins -- Starting Resource draft?

I mentioned in my last post that I was considering replacing the stage I rewards (which serve to differentiate player profiles) with a starting resource draft. What I hope to achieve by that is...

  1. Give players more variety in their game starts
  2. Give players more agency when it comes to their early game strategic direction
  3. Maintain an aspect of turn order compensation

Currently, players start with some credits, and that's it. The earlier you are in turn order at the start of the game, the fewer credits you start with, to make up for the advantage of having first dibs on the early game colony options. Other than that difference in starting money, all players have always started out on equal footing. However, the stage I reward tiles give players a different module, which serves to differentiate them once they've colonized something (and really, your first actions should always be to colonize something ASAP). This new idea would replace that random method of player differentiation with one where you'd get some say in how you'd like to play the game.

The scheme I've gone with for the starting resource cards is to make a few at each of three tiers, then to deal 2 cards from the appropriate tier to each player, based on their turn order (1st, 2nd-3rd, and 4th-5th):

  • Tier 1: 1st player (3 cards)
    1. 20 Credits
    2. 10 Credits and 1 Energy
    3. 1 Weapon module
  • Tier 2: 2nd-3rd player (6 cards)
    1. 30 Credits
    2. 20 Credits and 1 Energy
    3. 1 Brownium and 1 Weapon module
    4. 1 Shield module and 3 Energy
    5. 1 Cargo Hold module
    6. 1 Cryo Chamber module
  • Tier 3: 4th-5th player (6 cards)
    1. 40 Credits
    2. 2 Brownium and 1 Weapon module
    3. 1 Brownium and 1 Shield module and 3 Energy
    4. 1 Brownium and 1 Cargo Hold module
    5. 1 Brownium and 1 Cryo Chamber module
    6. 1 Afterburner module
My thought is that you basically start with 20/30/40 credits worth of stuff, and I'm counting an action as 10 credits. So for example, as player 1, you might have to choose between a Weapon module (costs 10 and an action at a green colony), and 20 credits (which you could use to buy shields, or a cargo module).

With respect to the three goals stated above:
1. Give players more variety in their game starts
    Each game you will get to choose between two different starting positions, and that choice will be different game-to-game, and based on your turn order position.

2. Give players more agency when it comes to their early game strategic direction
    Compared to the original game, where your differentiation came at random, this scheme will allow players to choose their strategic path (at least between two head starts). And I tried to make the options somewhat versatile, so they don't necessarily lock you into a specific, scripted strategic path.

3. Maintain an aspect of turn order compensation
    The card are in three tiers, offering more compensation to later turn order players. I think the fact that players 2 and 3 get the same level of compensation, and players 4 and 5 get the same level, is probably fine, as the difference between 1st and 2nd is probably bigger than the difference between 2nd and 3rd, etc.

So far I've tried this twice, and I think it's OK. What I haven't tried yet is removing the stage I reward tiles. The combination is kinda lame, as your random reward tile may or may not synergize with your chosen starting resources. Removing the stage I tiles will shorten the game a little bit, and with all the recent changes to jump start it, I think cutting a couple of rounds off the game wouldn't hurt.

1 comment:

Steve B said...

Just let us know when you need playtesters. :)